Ebi Fine Food is a gem of the West, serving up Japanese delights and arguably Melbourne's best fish and chips. This is what I love about Melbourne - shining jewel restaurants in unassuming locations. The locals are well aware of Ebi and this restaurant boasts a legion of local regulars.
Ebi Fine Food is a little quirky. Is it purely a Japanese restaurant? Or mainly fish and chips? Methinks a fusion triumph where edges are blurred to bring creativity and optimum flavours. What is certain is that Ebi Fine Food carries a culinary pride. It goes the extra mile for its customers and maintains a passion for fine food. The chef welcomed me to a stool at the bar/open kitchen and we enjoyed a chat about Japan, Footscray and the cooking processes of Ebi. Behind the chef were a myriad of daily specials. And the aromas from the kitchen were compelling. The Sushi plates at Ebi Fine Food (above) are an example of attention to detail and use of quality ingredients.
Ebi Fine Food serves up a legendary fish and chips. This is Japanese style - you don't get a greasy pile of potato and heavy battered fish. This is crisp and lightly beer battered fish using first class John Dory from the market. The chef purchases fish from the market (always there's a fish of the day) and portions are generous with fish perfectly cooked. Chips are golden and non greasy and to be dipped in the mayo. Then there's the Japanese salad with pickles and potato salad and greens. The balance of this fish and chips meal is stunning with rich flavours of fish, crispy chips and hit of gorgeous salad. This was the first time I was handed chopsticks for fish and chips. A great concept is the sizes from small to super duper. A large serving was enough for lunch.
Ebi Fine Food is famous for its Veggie balls (a veggie version of takoyaki Japanese street food). Crisp on the outside and soft and spongy with intense flavours inside. As the manager told me, this is how they started. On the back of unforgettable Veggie balls. So moorish with Japanese mayo. I could of eaten 2 trays of this delectable dish.
Ebi Fine Food also serves up a great Bento box. Grab a bento of the day. How does this sound - Grilled Salted Salmon with Mustard Miso? Or Bento Lamb and roast garlic korroke? Or Soft shell crab bento? Some of the best bento's in Melbourne. Another famous dish is their Tofu cheesecake which repeatedly sells out. Then there's the daily treats they weave into the menu such as Plum spring rolls and Crispy fried whitebait with chilli salt.
Ebi Fine Food has a Japanese fit out with orchids and quirky items on the wall. Friday nights are crazy busy here and the restaurant serves up takeaway as well as in house. Seating is limited but one can appreciate the intimate ambience. Grab some Japanese groceries on the way out.